Like most small business owners, you don’t have the time or resources to write an employee handbook from scratch. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a powerful and practical manual for your business. Check out the sample handbook, covering ten essential policy topics. With this guide, you’ll be able to protect business and ensure compliance with employment law. So get started today!
Note: the aforementioned information in this blog can be used to build an employee handbook template
Employee Handbook and Team Alignment
Employee handbooks should include your business’s policies, your expectations of your employees, and what your employees can expect from your company. In addition, it should set out the legal obligations of the employer and employee.
What to include in an employee handbook
- The company’s mission, vision, and an overview of its culture.
- Guidelines for employee conduct.
- Details on legal aspects of employment.
- Summaries of perks and benefits.
- Descriptions of company processes
Note: handbooks are essential for new employees and employee engagement in general.
The employee should expect to maintain the following workplace behaviors:
- Display a positive and respectful attitude.
- Work with honesty and integrity.
- Responsibly represent the organization.
- Perform their jobs to a reasonable, acceptable standard.
- Maintain good attendance.
- Conduct themselves in a professional manner
- Follow set policies and procedures when dealing with problems
- Respect company property, such as equipment, materials supplies, etc.
- Proper training, support, and leadership
- Timely and accurate payment of wages
- Safe and healthy working environments
- Full disclosure and explanation of the job responsibilities, company policies, and procedures
- Regular feedback on performance from supervisors or managers
Employee Policy & Procedures
An employee manual is a compilation of your company’s policies and procedures and employees’ legal rights and obligations. Having an employee handbook makes it easy for you to communicate rules and responsibilities to employees, so there’s no question about what’s expected from them — or you, as the small business owner. Also, some aspects within the handbook—such as perks, compensation, benefits, and a safe work environment—are essential for the retention of employees.
Company Mission & Vision
The mission statement communicates the purpose and objectives of the organization. The vision statement provides insight into what the company stands for and hopes to achieve in the future. Finally, the values statement reflects the organization’s core principles and ethics. Employee handbook examples appear as follows:
Walmart’s mission statement is “to save people money so they can live better.” It shows how the company seeks to implement critical strategies that can bring a remarkable difference in anything it touches. Some of the elements that relate to this mission statement include: Improving people’s lives.
McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which centers on an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price, and Promotion. We are committed to continuously improving our operations and enhancing our customers’ experience.
An effective vision statement sets a challenging goal for the organization. The purpose should not be stated too concretely or should be expressed with a high level of ambiguity, for example:
Costco’s Vision Statement: “a place where efficient buying and operating practices give members access to unmatched savings.” Mission Statement: “to continually provide our members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices.”
Target’s vision statement is “Guided commitments to great value, the community, diversity, and the environment.” The statement shows that Target is all out to do the best for a lifetime reputation of a company whose impacts and services make a difference in all sectors.
Note: mission and value states define company philosophy and influence organizational culture.
Compensation, Benefits & Perks
An organization’s compensation policy is the principle proposed by an organization concerning an employee’s salary, benefits, and bonuses. There are many different forms of compensation, and each is subject to differing state laws and regulations and the company’s culture and insurance policies. Examples of compensation items include:
- Scheduling policy: (for wage earners) min/max hours. TimeWellSchedule can support your business in administering and optimizing staff scheduling.
- Compensation: basic pay, retirement plan, bonuses, stock purchasing plan
- Health insurance, wellness, and extended benefits: insurance
- Holiday and Leave: pay leave.
- Family and dependant benefits
Note: employee compensation must comply with relevant state and federal law, non-exempt employees, and the family medical leave act.
Code of Conduct / Employee Behavior
The employer’s code of conduct is a set of company rules and regulations that outline acceptable workplace behavior and employer requirements. It should inform employees about the company’s expectations with regard to its vendors, customers, and coworkers in terms of ethical behavior. Examples of topics that are covered by the code of conduct:
- Dress code policy
- Smoking, drug, and alcohol abuse guidelines
- Use of phones, email, and internet during working hours
- Social media policy
- Data and customer privacy
- Meal breaks and rest periods
- Rules around accepting gifts from clients
- Conflict resolution policy
- Time and attendance policy
TimeWellScheduled employee scheduling software can help administer scheduling policy and procedures. In addition, we will ensure you are in legal compliance with holidays and payroll in your jurisdiction. To learn more, click here!
- personally-identifying information collected,
- categories of parties with whom this personally identifying information may be shared, and the reasons
Personal information should be collected, used, or shared only with the knowledge and consent of an employee. In addition, personal data should be gathered only for a valid reason and acquired legally.
Harassment and Discrimination Policy
Workplace harassment is a single or repeated incident of objectionable or unwelcome conduct, comment, bullying, or behavior intended to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particular individual or group. Types of workplace harassment include:
- making remarks, jokes, or innuendos that demean, ridicule, intimidate, or offend;
- displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials in print or electronic form;
- repeated offensive or intimidating phone calls or emails; or.
- Workplace sexual harassment.
Organizations are obligated to take appropriate measures to deter workplace harassment. Otherwise, an employer can be held responsible for harassment committed by their employees. Having an anti-harassment policy and providing anti-harassment training to managers and staff can help avoid this.
A disciplinary action policy identifies and standardizes procedures for responding to incidents that go against company policy. A well-written disciplinary action policy clearly states your company’s rules and the consequences that happen if those rules are broken. A sample discipline process:
Four steps in the progressive discipline process
- Verbal warning. In a private, confidential meeting, inform the employee what, specifically, they have done wrong or how they haven’t responded to coaching.
- Written warning. (suspension)
- Final warning.
The purpose of disciplinary actions is to correct, not to punish, work-related behavior. Each employee is expected to maintain professionalism, performance, and conduct as outlined by their immediate supervisor and comply with relevant policies, practices, procedures, and laws.
Employee Health and Safety
An organization’s health and safety policy must state clearly what the employer intends to do about commitment and support for health and safety in the workplace. The policy must be specific about who is responsible for which aspects of maintaining health and safety. A policy commits the entire organization to maintain a safe workplace.
Establish a valid occupational health and safety program that includes:
- Train your employees to do their work safely and provide proper supervision.
- Provide supervisors with the necessary support and training to carry out health and safety responsibilities.
- Ensure adequate first aid equipment, supplies, and trained attendants are on site to handle injuries.
- Regularly inspect your workplace to make sure everything is working properly.
- Fix problems reported by workers.
- Transport injured workers to the nearest location for medical treatment.
- Report all injuries that require medical attention.
- Investigate incidents where workers are injured, or equipment is damaged.
- Report hazards immediately to your supervisor or employer
- Follow safe work procedures and act safely in the workplace at all times.
- Use the protective clothing, devices, and equipment provided
- Get treatment quickly should an injury happen on the job and tell the health care provider that the injury is work-related
- Follow the treatment advice of health care providers.
- Return to work safely after an injury by modifying your duties and not immediately starting with your full, regular responsibilities
- Never work under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance, or if you’re overly tired.
Employee handbooks are an important document for both employers and employees. It should include the company’s policies, expectations of employees, and what employees can expect from the company. The handbook should also outline the employer’s legal obligations and the employee’s rights. Having a well-written employee handbook will help to ensure that both parties are aware of their responsibilities and entitlements.
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